4 Answers

I’m a mum of 3 – ages 7 to 3 years. I have a dear friend who’s Bub is 4 months old and it’s her first. She’s doing an amazing job – we all know how much of a shock, change and challenge the first few months are! But everyday she encourages and manipulates her Bub to move on her side then roll her over onto her tummy in an attempt to get her Bub to roll itself. She’s also trying to get her Bub to sit independently. I don’t want to interfere but at 4 months these milestones are too early and I’ve tried gently saying to her rolling and sitting will happen when it happens. Every Bub is different. I encourage her use of tummy time and Bub playing on the floor but not physically moving and manipulating her Bub to roll or sit her up in a bumbo or with pillows to get her to sit up straight.
But her mums group she meets with has bubs 6-7 months old so I think she’s really pushing her 4 month old beyond what is developmentally and physically possible. I think she wants her Bub to be like the others in her mums group. I’m not bothered by her encouraging movement, tummy time and rolling to one side but she physically moves her bubs arms and legs to roll all the way over and gets her to try and turn back herself. I need to find a way to suggest to her that at 4 months her Bub is just learning basic skills and to let time take its course and her Bub will roll and will sit, but not at 4 months! I think she feels pressured by her mums group and her own personality is to be like ‘my kid sleeps perfectly, does everything right on time and is advanced for her age’. I know she wouldn’t physically harm her Bub, but I’ve seen her Bub cry from the rolling movement and being upset being rolled over for a minute or so. and clearly isn’t at that stage yet. As a first time mum, I don’t want to be someone who says “I have 3 kids, I know better” – this is the last thing I want. I understand first time mums are learning too – it took me ages to adjust to my first and her milestones and be ok with it will happen when it happens and when Bub is ready. I have suggested to her this very sentiment but she responds that her Bub is advanced and just needs extra encouragement. What would you think the next step is in term of talking to my friend? Gentle suggestions seem to be unheard and disregarded. I really would love to see her enjoy this special time with her Bub and not be constantly comparing to babies that are months older than hers and trying to keep up with her group. I’d appreciate any suggestions of how I could talk to my friend or what I could say next? Thanks mums,

Posted by mom140193, 16th November 2016

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  • There is nothing more you can do. You gently advised but it is her baby and her choices.

  • Sadly, I think a lot of first time mums do this. She’s lucky to have a good friend like you. Hopefully she will find her way to relax, and maybe you should back off a bit in case she sees it as you criticising her.

  • You can only do so much.
    You gently advised your friend but she seems to have her own ideas and doesn’t want to hear yours. You can repeat gently what you’ve said her already or show/print out an article regarding this, but be careful not to become annoying and as if you know it all. Your friend has to find her own way and style and you should let her when she isn’t harming her child and doesn’t want to hear your advice. You don’t want to destroy your friendship. Let her develop her own parenting style and you never know one day she’ll ask you for advice.

  • Perhaps gently suggest that she let bub do it in her own time. Perhaps show concern for the baby. You could say something like ‘just be careful when you sit her up because her necks not strong enough and you don’t want her to hurt herself.’ Try to say it in a supportive way so as not to offend or upset her. It’s a hard one but at the end of the day its all about bubs safety and well being.

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